Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Fridge Full of Fudge!

I have 6 pounds of delicious homemade fudge in my fridge right now as we speak. OK maybe we're down to 5 1/2 pounds after some taste testing. Today was "Make Fudge" day on the Advent calendar. The kids looked forward to it all day. My daughter has been the fudge maker in the past, but she had to stay late at school today. So, my son dove head first into the chocolate. Didn't have to ask him twice. We figured out a few years ago that my grandmother's fudge recipe has the best taste, but needed to be a little lighter. We make her recipe and then stir in 1/2 jar of marshmallow cream. We experimented with a new preparation method this year. Deciding to do it in the microwave rather than over a double boiler. My son much preferred this method. We also never put in nuts preferring the feel of smooth creamy fudge melting on our tongues.

Here's her recipe:

3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 - 14oz. can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup nuts

Top of double boiler melt chocolate, stirring occasionally. (This is where we put it in the microwave. Heating and stirring for 1 minute at a time until chocolate was melted.)

Remove from heat (or microwave) - add milk, salt, vanilla and nuts.
Stir until smooth.

Spread mixture evenly into waxed -paper lined 8X8" baking pan.
Chill 2 hours or until firm.

Turn fudge onto cutting board, peel off paper and cut into squares. Tightly cover any leftovers.

I decided to try a new fudge recipe this year. A true fudge recipe. It's called Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge. Boy did it turn out to be a pain in the butt. Mostly because I was making fudge and making dinner for company at the same time. I didn't give the fudge my full attention, because I wanted dinner to be good for a friend that was coming to my house for the first time. First the fudge boiled over while I was doing a technique Alton Brown recommends for getting the sugar crystals off the edge of your pot. Put a lid on it for 3 minutes. It works great, but today it boiled over. NOW my stove is cover with a brown goo and everything including the goo is too hot to clean. I laughed it off knowing my friend would have a chuckle too. It was quite a sight a white stove with brown sugar goo oozing around 2 burners. It could have been a scene out of the "Blob" only I don't get to run away with Steve McQueen. I cleaned the pot off as best I could, so there wouldn't be a burning smell in my house. While I was trying to attempt to beat the brown goo back the simmering potatoes for mashed potatoes started to boil over. I quickly pulled them off the burner and had a talk with myself. "Calm down, slow down, pay attention."

My stove now looks like I never clean it. I'm just hoping my company will understand that this all happened just now in the last 15 minutes. I finish getting dinner together. My friend arrives and laughs at the ordeal I had and wished me good luck cleaning the half burnt sludge off my stove. The cinnamon fudge now being referred to as "That Damn Fudge" had come to temperature on the candy thermometer. I tossed in the butter and let it cool while my friend and I talk crafting. Finally, I decided to put the finishing touches on the fudge and get it out of my hair and into the fridge. It doesn't thicken up like the recipe said and I thought with all the trouble I was having it might be ruined. So, I toss it into a pan and stick it into the fridge. Fingers crossed.

(The two pieces on the left are Grandma's Fudge. The two pieces on the right are the Cinnamon Fudge.)

3 hours later my kids reminded me the fudge was ready. Grandma's fudge looked fabulous and tasted even better. The Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge to my great surprise had set up wonderfully and tasted great. The texture was so smooth and just melted cinnamon chocolaty goodness all over one's tongue.

Here's the recipe:

Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 1/4 c. milk
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. pecans or walnuts, broken

Melt chocolate in 3-qt. saucepan on lowest heat or over hot water. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup and milk. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Increase heat to med. and cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Wash crystals from side of pan. Cook to 236 degrees F on candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).

Remove from heat; add butter and, without stirring, let cool to 110 degrees F or lukewarm. Add
vanilla extract and beat until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in nuts and continue beating until candy holds its shape. Drop from spoon onto buttered wax paper or pour into buttered pan. When cool, cut into squares. Makes about 3 pounds.

P.S. For something really different we made Alton Brown's Peanut Butter Fudge last year. It was super simple and super good! Click on the "Peanut Butter Fudge" for the link to the recipe by Alton Brown.


Kenda said...

Hope you've been able to get the rements from "that damn fudge" off your stove by now! LOL I had to laugh 'cause that would have been my luck. Today and tomorrow are my days to make fudge as it's been overcast and rainy for a few days and we're due for more rain. Thanks for sharing your funny story and good luck cleaning your stove.

CathyR said...

Is your stove clean yet? That sounds like something that I would do.

I should make some fudge this year. It is hubby's favorite Christmas treat. I think I'll try your Grandma's fudge recipe, it sounds really good.

Miss Crystal said...

Oh My! These sounds so good! I hope your stove is clean by now. LOL.